[Letter] 1923 June 7, West New Brighton, N.Y. [to] Mr. Carl Schurz Lowden

Dublin Core

Title

[Letter] 1923 June 7, West New Brighton, N.Y. [to] Mr. Carl Schurz Lowden

Subject

Lowden, Carl Schurz
Criminals--Rehabilitation.
Capital punishment.
Punishment in crime deterrence.

Description

Markham writes to Lowden about the treatment of criminals. He opposes capital punishment and penitentiaries; he is in favor of rehabilitating the character of criminals.

Creator

Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940

Source

Edwin Markham Archive, Horrmann Library

Date

6/7/1923

Contributor

Wagner College, Staten Island, NY

Rights

Please contact the Horrmann Library at Wagner College for rights to use this digital image.

Format

image/jpeg

Language

eng

Type

Text

Identifier

MarkhamSchurzLowden1

Document Item Type Metadata

Text

West New Brighton, N.Y. June 7, 1923
Dear Mr Carl Schurz Lowden:
Capital Punishment? No, I do not stand for it. First, I do not think that severe punishment necessarily acts as a strong deterrent. It is certainty of punishment, not severity of punishment, which subdues the criminal mind. Second, I think that we should look on the criminal as a diseased person, an unfortunate who needs restraint and mental medicine. Let him be placed under the care of a high-minded and earnest persons for observation, education and discipline; and there will then be ground for hope that “he will come to himself” as the prodigal did when he was feeding on husks in a far country. This savior work should be placed in the hands of persons inspired by the noblest spiritual aims. I should also like to see the gloomy penitentiaries disappear with the other specters of the dark ages. I fancy that it would be possible to place our prisoners on some guarded island, where they would be furnished seed and tools for cultivating the fields and producing the food they consume. Indeed, they could be encouraged to build their own houses and to organize their own social order, and thus lay the foundation for the creation of character. Of course the time to begin to educate men is a long time before they become criminals. We need to go back to eugenics and the “borning” of better babes. But this is another and a longer story.
Cordially yours:
Edwin Markham

Date Digital

2009

Digitization Specifications

IBM ThinkCentre Intel Pentium 4 3.06GHz running Windows XP Professional Version 2 Service Pack 2; Epson Expression 10000XL scanner; Master Scanner Settings: 24-bit RGB, 400 dpi resolution; File Format: TIFF; Compression: none; Reference Images resized and converted with Adobe Photoshop CS2 version 9.0.2: 8-bit RGB; 400 ppi resolution; Compressed jpeg.

Citation

Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940 , “[Letter] 1923 June 7, West New Brighton, N.Y. [to] Mr. Carl Schurz Lowden,” Wagner College Digital Collections, accessed September 26, 2021, https://wagnercollections.omeka.net/items/show/5101.